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Ashley hates getting her hair braided because it takes too long.
But things get better once her grandmother arrives.

Braids is written by acclaimed children's author Robert Munsch. He donated the story to Taya Kendall, an eight-year old aspiring writer who started a school newspaper to raise money for Children of Bukati. Robert Munsch donated his story to support her goal. The book is illustrated by students from Sir Isaac Brock Public School in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Braids was launched on June 16, 2009, the International Day of the African Child.
All proceeds from the sale of Braids go to Children of Bukati.
Braids is available in stores and online in partnership with
New Internationalist.

To buy your copy online in Canada, click here.

To buy your copy online in the United States, click here.

To order your copy by phone, call 905-877-9022.


"Well, it started out with Taya, who looked like a good fit for the story. I often give unpublished stories to kids and that is that; except Taya wanted to put it in her school newspaper, and then wanted to put it out as a book. The idea just grew and grew." - Robert Munsch

Story Featured in several Newspapers, and a TV interview

List of Stores now selling the book in Ontario:

  • Guelph
    • Bookshelf, 41 Quebec St.
    • Chapters, Stone Road Mall
    • Macondo Books, 18 Wilson St.
    • Merry Go Round, 219 Silvercreek Pkwy. N.
    • Simply Wonderful Toys and Gizmos, 10 Paisley St.
    • University of Guelph Bookstore, University of Guelph
  • Kitchener-Waterloo
    • KW Bookstore, 308 King St. W., Kitchener
  • Toronto
    • Ella Minnow, 1915 Queen St. E.
    • Mabel's Fables, 662 Mount Pleasant Rd.
    • Parentbooks, 201 Harbord St.
    • Treasure Island Toys, 581 Danforth Ave.
  • Burlington
    • Different Drummer Books, 513 Locust St.
  • Owen Sound
    • Downtown Bookstore, 945 2nd Ave. E.
    • Ginger Press Bookstore, 848 2nd Ave. E.
  • Other Locations
    • The Bookcase, 93f Main St. E., Huntsville ON P1H 2B9; 705-789-9111
    • Upper Case Books, 91 Peel St., New Hamburg, ON
    • Fanfare Books, 92 Ontario St., Stratford, ON
    • Fundamentals, 52 Ontario St., Stratford, ON

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Child publisher clears $20,000 with Munsch book, all money to charity

GUELPH, Ont. (Nov. 10, 2009) - A book written by renowned children’s author Robert Munsch and published by an eight-year-old girl from Guelph, Ont., has topped more than $20,000 in sales in just five months.

“It feels really good knowing that I’m helping kids on the other side of the world,” says Taya Kendall, a grade four student at Sir Isaac Brock Public School who published Munsch’s story Braids in June with proceeds going to Children of Bukati, a charity that supports more than 700 HIV/AIDS orphans and destitute children in Butula, Kenya. “I know how hard life can be for them, and I just want to help make things better.”

Munsch donated the previously unpublished story to Taya after learning she had started a school newspaper to raise money for Children of Bukati. Taya originally thought she’d publish it as part of her newspaper, the S.I.B. Times, but with Munsch’s permission and some help from her mother, Rebecca Kendall, she instead published it as a 36-page book. The illustrations were done by close to 30 students from her school.

The book’s success has been a major financial boost for Children of Bukati, which invested $10,000 to publish 5,000 copies of the book. The sale of the first run is estimated to raise about $35,000.

This year has been a particularly challenging one for Kenyans because of severe drought, says Prof. Cate Dewey, chair of the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph, who founded Children of Bukati in 2006 after her first research trip to Butula. “The price of food has increased dramatically and the numbers of orphaned children in this community continues to rise,” she says. “At the same time, we’re expanding the livestock and land projects to ensure the school will be self-sustaining in 2013. The sale of Braids has helped with both of these efforts.”

The book quickly made national news when it was launched. It was featured on CBC Newsworld, CBC Ontario Morning and Canada AM and in the Toronto Star, the Waterloo Region Record and the Guelph Mercury. In June, the Guelph Mercury recognized Taya for her efforts by naming her among its “Top 40 Under 40” for 2009.

Taya’s six-year-old sister, Eden, is the book’s youngest artist and one of her strongest supporters. “Eden has been with me every step of the way and we’ve had a really fun time sharing this story with people,” says Taya, who spent part of the summer speaking about the project and reading the book at venues in Guelph, Orangeville, Eden Mills and Port Elgin.

With the holidays coming, the sisters have several wishes for the students at Bukati Primary School. “We want them to always believe in themselves and know that dreams can come true. We also want them to know that people in Canada really care about them and that we’re trying to make things better.”

The $10 book is available in 21 locations in Toronto, Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo, Burlington, Stratford, New Hamburg, Owen Sound and Huntsville (see complete list of locations below). It can also be ordered by phone, mail order and online in partnership with New Internationalist, an independent magazine renowned for its campaigning stance on a range of world issues.

For more information about Braids and Children of Bukati, go to www.childrenofbukati.com.

Contact:: Taya Kendall (via Rebecca Kendall); 519-546-2706; rebecca.kendall@gmail.com;

Update: Email received on Mon. August 3, 2009 from Dr. Cate Dewey who is now in Kenya

Dear family and friends
You likely all know about the book Braids that is being sold to raise funds for COB. Robert Munsch donated an unpublished story to Taya Kendall, children at Sir Isaac Brock School drew pictures to illustrate the story and then funds from the COB account paid to print 5000 copies. At the front of the book, there is a photo of 3 girls and at the back, a photo of one girl with braids and others in a classroom during lunch.

The first girl I found was Lucy, the girl in the middle of the picture in the front. She had this look of amazement and then laughed and giggled to see her picture in a book. It was fantastic! I asked her to sign my book and then gave her one. Millicent, the girl to Lucy's left was more shy but equally pleased. I will give Felisias her book tomorrow. Mary Stella, the girl with braids was terribly shy. Although she received the book from me, she did not seem entirely sure of what was happening. Tomorrow, I will return to the school and hope to get a photo of all 4 girls together.

The following photos were taken at the Bukati school, in Kenya, in June 2009.

Above: Cate Dewey asking Pamela where to find the Bukati girls who were featured in the Braids book.

Above: Mary Stella, the girl with braids

Above: Cate Dewey with Lucy and Felisias.
Note that Felisias is also the "logo-girl" who is in the top-right corner of every page on this Children of Bukati website.

Above: Millicent holding a copy of the Braids book, with her photo on the left-side of the page. The other two girls in the Braids book-photo are Lucy and Felisias.

Above: Cate Dewey with Millicent, Lucy and Felisias.

Above: the four girls.
Millicent in the back, along with Felisias, Mary Stella, and Lucy.

Above: Cate Dewey reading Braids to some of the Bukati students.

Copyright © 2009

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Updated Dec. 12, 2009